(ATR) FIFA has appointed Fatma Samba Diouf Samoura from Senegal as the federation's first female secretary general.
She succeeds former FIFA No.2 Jerome Valcke, who was recently banned from football for 12 years for a series of ethics violations.
Samoura, 54, spent 21 years working for the United Nations and will start at football's governing body in June.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino nominated Samoura during Friday's congress in Mexico City. The proposal was approved. Samoura will now undergo an eligibility check and is expected to start in four weeks' time.
Samoura is currently UN Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator and UN Development Programme Resident Representative in Nigeria.
""She [Samoura] is someone from the outside, not someone from the inside, not someone from the past," Infantino told the congress.
Infantino said he recommended Samoura because of her "fresh perspectives from outside the traditional pool of football executives," in addition to her record of integrity and operational experience.
"FIFA is taking a fresh approach to its work, and I am eager to play a role in making that approach as effective and lasting as possible," Samoura said in a statement from FIFA. "I believe this role is a perfect fit for my skills and experience, strategic, high impact team building in international setting, which I will use to help grow the game of football all over the world."
Huge Increase in Funds for FAs
Member associations of FIFA are now eligible to receive $5 million over four years for developmental funds.
Each association can receive up to $500,000 a year in the assistance of running their association, and $750,000 a year for "tailor-made football development projects".
In an effort to increase transparency with the developmental funds, associations will be expected to sign contracts with the newly created development committee to receive the funds. National federations will be eligible to receive $400,000 of the yearly developmental fund payout when they achieve eight out of 10 criteria established by the committee. Funds that are not used each year will be held by FIFA and available for member associations to use in later years of the four-year cycle.
All FAs will be required to submit an audit to FIFA, which will be publicly available on its website.
The payment increase was passed unanimously by FIFA, with many associations staged a prolonged round of applause after the measure was introduced. The funding pledge was a major plank of Infantino's FIFA presidential campaign.
Indonesia Reinstated; Kuwait Suspended
The FIFA Congress voted to reinstate the football association of Indonesia after the country withdrew legislation that had removed the autonomy of the country’s football body.
Infantino said he was "delighted" by the Indonesian government’s willingness to work with FIFA. Indonesia was suspended on May 30, 2015 by FIFA, which meant it was excluded from 2018 World Cup qualifying.
Congress voted to continue the suspension of the football association of Kuwait by 176 votes to 13 againstafter the government failed to scrap problematic legislation.Kuwait has been suspended since October 2015, after a new sports law removed autonomy from the country’s sport federations. Shortly after FIFA suspended Kuwait, the IOC followed suit leaving the country’s Rio Olympic participation in doubt.
The FIFA Council, which met this week in Mexico City, had recommended continuing the suspension, with the intention of finding a solution as quickly as possible.
The congress also voted to suspend the Football Association of Benin until a new presidential election has taken place.
Kosovo and Gibraltar Admitted
At the recommendation of the council, both Kosovo and Gibraltar were admitted as full members of FIFA - the federation's 210 and 211th members.
Kosovo was admitted by UEFA as its 55th member association at its Budapest congress on May 3 by28 votes to 24, paving the way for today's FIFA decision;Gibraltar joined in May 2013.
Both countries received overwhelming support after the FIFA Council recommended that each association be added. Kosovo was approved by 141 votes to 23. Gibraltar was admitted to the FIFA family 172 to 12 votes.
Before the vote a representative from the Serbian FA gave an impassioned speech against voting Kosovo, stating that the territory was not a member of the United Nations thus not eligible to join FIFA or UEFA.
"It is with great emotion that I receive this decision on the day on which the Kosovarian football community has been accepted into FIFA," Fadil Vokrri, the president of the Kosovo Football Federation, told the congress after the vote.I accept this on the part of the players of my country who have for such a long time waited for this decision to be made."
Written by Aaron Bauer
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